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Feature request: deterministic tray icon order #3573

anowlcalledjosh opened this Issue Dec 28, 2018 · 1 comment


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anowlcalledjosh commented Dec 28, 2018

I'm submitting a…

[ ] Bug
[x] Feature Request
[ ] Documentation Request
[ ] Other (Please describe in detail)

Current Behavior

System tray icon order is nondeterministic. It appears that new icons are usually added at the right, but applications executed on startup often race and put their icons in a different order each time, and restarting i3/i3bar causes all icons to be jumbled randomly.

Desired Behavior

Icons should be ordered in a predictable way.

Unity has this behaviour; it's not possible to reorder icons, but the same icons will always be placed in the same order (the order appears to be based partially on the icon category – "hardware" icons at the far-right, then "system services" and "communications", and "application" icons at the far-left).

#749 asks for a way to configure the order, and was closed because it's too much effort for little gain. Presumably making the order deterministic (but not configurable) would be less work, but the gain would not be much less – I don't really care much what order the icons end up in, it's just irritating to have to search through them every time I want to check the status of some application.


$ i3 --moreversion 2>&-
Binary i3 version:  4.16 (2018-11-04) © 2009 Michael Stapelberg and contributors
Running i3 version: 4.16 (2018-11-04) (pid 8767)o abort…)
Loaded i3 config: /home/josh/.config/i3/config (Last modified: Fri 28 Dec 2018 15:38:45 EST, 6312 seconds ago)

The i3 binary you just called: /usr/bin/i3
The i3 binary you are running: i3
  • Linux Distribution & Version: Ubuntu 18.04
  • Are you using a compositor (e.g., xcompmgr or compton): no

@i3bot i3bot added the enhancement label Dec 28, 2018


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Airblader commented Dec 28, 2018

If there's a good idea of how to achieve this that doesn't involve adding configuration, I think there's no reason not to do it.

You mentioned categories, but off the top of my head I'm not aware of how such information is exposed. So we'd need a proper proposal that suggests a specific, available piece of information to use.

(And no, keeping a list of known tray apps isn't a good idea... :-))

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